Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us – IV

ref : Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us

  • It was prudent step on the part of insurance companies and other regulators to promote outpatient services.  But, businesses being businesses they’ll make profit either way.  A better idea would be pay for treating the patients and leaving up to the hospitals how they do it.  Believe me they’ll still find ways to make money and the only way is to allow greater competition.  We have seen great anti-trust law suits helping avoid monopoly in every sector, its time for such in healthcare sector.  Hoping that ACA will do its part, but I am pretty sure that it will not be sufficient.
  • Also, the reporting of charitable expense too should be reported accordingly.  Not as a %age on the mark-up price (chargemaster)  but on actual cost incurred.  It can be argued that his will increase the %age figure and show them more charitable than the others. 
  • Regarding doctors compensation by medical device manufacturers, its good that it is being disclosed by a website.  But, it helps only so much as patients have no choice when it comes choice of device, e.g. hip-knee implant.  What if the choice is genuine and doctor had also benefitted directly or indirectly?  The best way out is not to kill competition in any way.  Administrators may agree that signing contract with one or few might fetch them discounts, but it pretty much kills the competition.  Also, they can also seek greater discounts when all the manufacturers are in fray.  The article rightly states that the biggest problem is the mark-up prices that the hospital charges the patient, and not physician’s choice of equipment or the benefits being doled out to them.

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